June 16, 2008
OncoMed Pharmaceuticals Extends License Agreement for Use of MorphoSys’s Core Technology
MARTINSRIED, Germany, June 16, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- MorphoSys AG (FSE:MOR) (Prime Standard Segment:TecDAX) announced today that U.S. based biopharmaceutical company OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has triggered its pre-existing option to extend the current license agreement between the two companies and has initiated two therapeutic antibody development programs targeting cancer stem cells. Under the extended agreement, which now runs until June 2010, MorphoSys continues to grant OncoMed access to its proprietary antibody library HuCAL GOLD for the use in the research and development of human therapeutic antibodies for the treatment of various cancers by targeting cancer stem cells. The extended agreement includes annual user fees to MorphoSys for OncoMed's access to the HuCAL platform. The two-year extension includes an option for OncoMed to develop and commercialize up to 3 additional HuCAL-derived therapeutic antibodies. In all cases MorphoSys stands to receive exclusive license fees, milestone payments, as well as royalties on end products. Further financial details were not disclosed.
Founded in August 2004, OncoMed Pharmaceuticals is discovering and developing monoclonal antibodies and proteins capable of eliminating "cancer stem cells," which are believed to play a key role in the establishment, metastasis and recurrence of cancer. OncoMed is at the forefront of applying research from the University of Michigan to isolate, purify, and analyze cancer stem cells. The company has established a large library of antibodies as well as proteins capable of binding to the cell surface proteins expressed on cancer stem cells and inhibiting cancer stem cell growth. Recently OncoMed has established a strategic alliance to discover, develop and market novel cancer stem cell antibody therapeutics with GlaxoSmithKline.
"We have been very successful in developing antibodies that show great promise in treating cancer," stated Paul Hastings, Chief Executive Officer of OncoMed. "The HuCAL technology has proven to be an effective tool for generating these antibodies and we are pleased to be able to continue our productive relationship with MorphoSys."
"Our core HuCAL technology continues to deliver new therapeutic antibody candidates," commented Dr. Simon Moroney, Chief Executive Officer of MorphoSys. "We are excited about these programs with OncoMed, which have the potential to revolutionize cancer therapy. Today's news continues a series of extensions with existing partners who have the ability to terminate or extend collaborations through pre-existing options. This clearly demonstrates the ongoing commitment by all of our partners to bring innovative HuCAL-based antibody drugs to patients."
MorphoSys is a publicly traded biotechnology company focused on the generation of fully human antibodies as a means to discover and develop innovative antibody-based drugs against life-threatening diseases. MorphoSys's goal is to establish HuCAL as the technology of choice for antibody generation in research, diagnostics and therapeutic applications. The Company currently has therapeutic and research alliances with the majority of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies including Boehringer Ingelheim, Centocor/Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Pfizer and Roche. Within these partnerships, more than 50 therapeutic antibody programs are ongoing in which MorphoSys participates through exclusive license and milestones payments as well as royalties on any end products. Additionally, MorphoSys is active in the antibody research market through its AbD Serotec business unit. The business unit has operations in Germany (Munich), the U.S. (Raleigh, NC) and U.K. (Oxford). For further information please visit http://www.morphosys.com/
HuCAL and HuCAL GOLD are registered trademarks of MorphoSys AG.
This communication contains certain forward-looking statements concerning the MorphoSys group of companies. The forward-looking statements contained herein represent the judgment of MorphoSys as of the date of this release and involve risks and uncertainties. Should actual conditions differ from the Company's assumptions, actual results and actions may differ from those anticipated. MorphoSys does not intend to update any of these forward-looking statements as far as the wording of the relevant press release is concerned.
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CONTACT: MorphoSys AG Dr. Claudia Gutjahr-Loser Head of Corporate Communications & Investor Relations +49 (0) 89 / 899 27-122 [email protected] Mario Brkulj Manager Corporate Communications & Investor Relations +49 (0) 89 / 899 27-454 [email protected]